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Distinguished Lecture Series

Mobile Agent Programming in Ajanta

Dr. Anand Tripathi
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota

Thursday, November 11
Talk: 3-4:00 p.m.; Reception: 4-4:30
Room 2243, Engineering Building

Host: P. Mohapatra

Abstract: Mobile objects provide a new paradigm for building distributed applications. A mobile agent is an object capable of migrating autonomously from node to node, and performing some tasks on behalf of a user. The main advantages of the mobile agent paradigm lie in its ability to move client code and computation to remote server resources, and in permitting increased asynchrony in client-server interactions. Agents can be used for information searching, filtering and retrieval, or for electronic commerce on the Web, thus acting as personal assistants for their owners. Agents can also be used in low- level network maintenance, testing, fault diagnosis, distributed collaborations, and for dynamically upgrading the capabilities of existing services.

Ajanta is a Java-based system for programming mobile-agent applications on the Internet. This talk presents an overview of the Ajanta system architecture and its programming model. Ajanta's programming environment is defined in terms of a set of primitive operations for agent creation, dispatch, migration and remote control. Agents can access server resources using a proxy-based access control mechanism. Ajanta system supports agent migration based on the composition of some basic migration patterns, which incorporate exception handling mechanisms. This talk describes several agent based distributed applications that we implemented using the Ajanta system. These include a middleware for file sharing over the Internet, a distributed calendar manager, and a collaborative authoring system.

Biography: Anand Tripathi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. From 1981 through 1984 he was a Senior Principal Research Scientist at Honeywell Computer Science Center in Minneapolis. He joined the University of Minnesota in 1985.

His research interests are in distributed systems, object- oriented systems, and fault-tolerant computing. The focus of his current activities is on middleware facilities for supporting robust and secure distributed applications using the mobile agent paradigm.

He is a member of the Editorial Board of IEEE Concurrency and he is also serving as the Editor for the Education Column of IEEE Concurrency. Currently he is a Guest Editor of a special issue of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering on current research directions and new paradigms in exception handling. From 1995-97 he served as the Program Director for the Computer Systems Software program in the Division of Computer and Computation Research at the National Science Foundation.